Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Now that my Red Planet and RISE submissions are out of the way, I can get back to doing what I do best: watching a whole load of really crap TV. Hooray! And first out of the blocks is Hole in the Wall – the ‘gameshow’ where celebrities have to force themselves Tetris-like through a variety of holes or risk being dunked in the drink. I lasted five minutes before I became acutely aware that the show is merely a ploy to drain your IQ so you are mentally unable to switch channels, thereby ensuring that you stay tuned for Strictly Come Dancing (or Celebrity Ham Twirling as it’s known here at Chipster Towers). Shows like Hole in the Wall make you yearn for the golden age of television, where Mr Blobby and the malevolent evil that is Cilla Black presided colossus-like over the Saturday night schedule. As Dale Winton says, “Join me next week for more celebrities and more holes.” Can’t wait.That said, Hole in the Wall wasn’t the stupidest thing I’ve seen on teevee recently – that honour goes to Guy Richie’s Revolver, which wasn’t of course made for television, but hey, who's splitting hairs? The only essential difference between Hole in the Wall and Revolver is that Hole in the Wall is knowingly dumb, whereas Revolver is dumb masquerading as clever, which is in fact even worse than plain old dumb (with Luc Besson contributing to proceedings, you know you’re in for a veritable festival of stupid anyway). Quite what the screenplay is aiming to say is anyone’s guess: characters supposedly inhabit each other’s heads to the point of mind numbing existential tedium, ill-thought out symbols litter the film like so much landfill (twelve dollar bills, half a crucifixion, endlessly boring games of chess), Ray Liotta chews up the scenery (in his underpants mostly, not really my definition of viewing pleasure), and there are swathes of entirely pointless pieces of animation. I was going to mention the long and pointless voiceover and the acres of repetitive dialogue, but I simply can’t be bothered (is it just me, or does the lost art of the voiceover seem to be making a resurgence of late? Most everything I see at the moment features a metric tonne of the stuff: Lost in Austen anyone? The major unifying thread of all the shows I’ve seen recently to feature voiceover is that it’s just not needed).

So, to summarise: Revolver – the only film in living memory that would have been improved with an appearance from Andi Peters in a skin tight Lycra bodysuit.

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